Saturday, March 19, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! March 19, 2011

I’m Vincent D. Cat and here to make you happy!  You are HEROES!  You work hard every day and you deserve to smile every day!  Those of you working to save us animals hear so very many very sad things.  And there’s lots of very glad things too and that’s what we talk about here!  All pawsitive all the time!  I want my friends to be happy and smile and know there’s a lot of good - including YOU - in this world!!  Be kind and pass it on!  Please send me your Good New and Fun Stuff to share, personal or global. Let’s keep it fun and interactive!!  After all, if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane!
Great Big Red Alert
Need Your Help
Down on the Ranch
It’s really important to vote
We often loose ground on the weekends
cuz our people are out volunteering
but this weekend you’ve got to remember
to vote before you go out


It’s quick, easy and free
and enter Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA

The Animal Rescue Site - Shelter Challenge

Round the Refuge
I’ve been working for years to help the hoomans keep Rikki’s Refuge running.  It’s good to get up in the morning and know I have a task that’s so worth while.  Don’t you love knowing that your life matters to others?  Well it’s important to us too.  And so We’ve banded together with a new idea!

Animal Artists.  We’re taking turns doing pieces of artwork that can be sold to raise funds for the refuge.  Hey, I heard of an elephant who gets thousands for slashes of bright paint across canvas.  Well some of us are really talented!!

Little Mystique is the first Animal Artist of Rikki’s Refuge I’d like to present to you. 

Mystique is one of a litter of 5 who came to Rikki's Refuge.  Only she and one of her brothers is still surviving.  They have a genetic heart defect, and Mystique, at age 7 months, has lived far longer than anyone would have expected.  She is petite for her age, but otherwise shows no hint of having a problem. Her brother, who is a black and white tuxedo, is the same.  Mystique is one of the favorites at Rikki's, and likes to ride on the shoulders of Valerie, one of the employees at the Refuge. She will also volunteer to eat anyone's food, whether they want a volunteer or not.  Heaven forbid that anyone is eating cheese -- Mystique won't beg, she will simply jump on the table and try to help herself!

Meet Mystique the Animal Artist
Mystique has worked hard to create a line of lovely jewelry for Easter!!  What a lovely gift for everyone on your list!  Safe and durable, the recipient will remember you forever!  Lovely to wear or hang in any setting.  Each piece is purrsonally painted by the artist!! 

Easter Egg necklace, "pawtographed" by Rikki's Mystique
Your choice of color (shown in pictures) of Easter Egg necklaces. The pendant is made from a 1 3/4" wooden egg, which has been painted either green, pink, peach, blue, yellow, or purple.  Then, Mystique, a feline resident of Rikki's Refuge, added her paw print in black. I wrote her name, and Rikki's Refuge on the back of each. Then, a clear sealant was added. Each comes on a 26" ribbon, the color of which coordinates with the color of the egg. You choose the color of egg that you would like.  I have 4 of each color, so you tell me how many of each color you would like. Colors may sell out fast, so act fast!
Proceeds from the sale of these necklaces will help Mystique and the other 1200+ animals at Rikki's.

If you missed yesterday’s story about tonight’s great big huge gigantic full moon, check it out  I’m hoping it will clear for a great view.  Last night was very cloudy.  Supposed to rain during the day but be clear tonight.  Paws crossed!!!

Help the Rabbits
Tomorrow, Sunday - Rabbit Rotunda II Roof Raising, and we need 8 good workers to help, so come on out - PLEASE. 

VOTE TODAY   Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA
The Animal Rescue Site - Shelter Challenge
YOU voted Rikki’s Refuge #1 in Virginia in 2010
Let’s do it again for 2011
quick, simple, free
Your daily vote can win $1,000 - $5,000 for Rikki’s Refuge’s Animals!

Earn you Rikki’s Refuge Seal of Approval
There’s lots of ways you can vote
as long as you remember to enter
Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA
click on any of these and take it from there !!!!

Bissell MVP Contest
Vote daily Wednesday March 16 thru Tuesday March 22nd for Sugar
quick, simple, free
Your daily vote could win up to $10,000 for Purr Angels
Click here to Vote for Sugar
Sugar is a therapy cat for my 12 y/o Asperger's Syndrome son. He teaches my boy it's ok to have emotions and taught him about body language. He is 4.5 yrs. old and neutered. His organization is PURR ANGELS.

Interview with Sugar

Vincent: Hi Sugar! So glad to be supporting you this week in Bissell.  Tell me something about yourself?

Sugar: I just turned 5 on St. Patrick's Day. Oh I had so much fun on my birthday this year, and it's even more special this year! As a present, I was given my degree as Dr. Sugar Dial. Chazz recently told Mother he wants to become an Animal Cop, so he can take care of other animals the way I take care of him.

Vincent: Well Happy Birthday, Sugar!!  And congratulations Dr. Dial, that’s quite impressive!  Tell me why you wanted to run in the Bissell contest?

Sugar: I wanted to show humans that other humans that are different are nice people. See, my boy, Chazz, has Asperger's Syndrome, and I've been his therapy cat since almost day 1!  When he was in second grade, and me just a kitten, Mother noticed that Chazz calmed down so much if I was with him during a 'meltdown'. I wasn't made to be with Chazz, I just went to him when he was down. Now, 4 years later, I take my job very seriously, especially now that he is being bullied so much at school.  *looks away for a moment, then looks back at Vincent*  It's been rough, because he also stutters. But when he's with me, he doesn't stutter. The days he comes home, with that certain emotion swirling around him, because the kids at school have been bullying him, are the days I am needed most.

Vincent:  Oh Sugar, I bet Chazz is a great hooman.  It is sad how hoomans have do much trouble accepting each other no matter what.  I like to help the hoomans who feel bad and unloved too.  I’m so glad you found Chazz to take care of.  Tell me about the rescue group you support and why you love them.

Sugar: My rescue group is PURR ANGELS, in Siskiyou County, Ca. Miss Gloria, who runs it, reminds me of Miss Rita of Purrever Sanctuary, the Sanctuary that received Gracey (The Tiniest Tiger's) winnings from the Bissell contest last year. PURR ANGELS is a very small organization, that spays/neuters feral kitties in my area. I support small organizations-they need us!

Vincent:  You’re absolutely right Sugar.  These organizations need us helping them.  So many many good hoomans working so hard to help us.  We need to work to help them.  Being a working cat is rewarding.  I remember when I was an ordinary cat.  Just lazing around the place 23 hours a day.  Yeah, that was the life.   Now that feeling I have when I finally put whisker to pillow at night, knowing I’ve made a difference in the world, well, there’s just nothing like it, is there?  Do you have a message for the world?

Sugar: A message? Oh, goodness me! With what is happening in Japan, and what happened in Australia at the beginning of this contest, it makes me feel very fortunate to be with my boy. I wasn't a rescue, but before Chazz took me home, I was part of barn cat family. I was fed, along with the rest of the family, because the little girls who found me living under her new house's steps. She petted me and loved me, and she found me Chazz. We all need to loved, not matter what we may look like, or who the person we take care of sounds like. Words hurt, and I would like everyone to think before they speak next time. I guess it's a mixed message, Vincent!

Vincent: But a very important message Sugar.  Love and kindness is so important in our world.  It takes so little to reach out and be somebody’s HERO.  Just a little caring and kindness can mean the absolute world to somebody.  No matter what their species is.  I’m so happy to know you and to have you as a friend.  Thank you for running in the Bissell contest and thank you for caring and helping our hoomans and all species, Dr. Dial !!!!

Sugar: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, Vincent. I know you are an extremely busy cat!

My Favorite Quote, Today
So long as there is breath in me, that long I will persist.
For now I know one of the greatest principles on success;
if I persist long enough I will win.
I know what I want.  I want to win the Shelter Challenge.  I want YOU to be my HERO.  I want YOU to vote vote vote and I want you to ask your friends to vote vote vote!!!! 

I will persist until midnight Sunday night!!!!

Will you please vote for me?  Pretty please???   Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA

The Cats of Cod
Artwork by Wayne H. Morris of New York
photography and art
visit to see more of his spectacular work

Wayne loves to study an animal and capture their essence which he then turns into a whimsical work of art depicting them at work or play.  Your pet’s whimsical custom portrait available for only $300 (donated to Rikki’s Refuge). Contact me and I’ll put you in touch  Prints available, 8” x 10”, on heavy stock, suitable for framing, $25 each, resolution may vary so you may want to ask first.  Specify which print you want and shipping address.

Helmi, headed home from a long day
at Quin Investigations -
another case of Cat Burglary

Tails of Trivia
Walker offers some silly jokes for the daily good news reports!

New Dog Cross Breeds

They crossed a Irish Water Spaniel and a English Springer Spaniel.
The new breed is a Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean.

They crossed a Bull Terrier and a ShihTzu.
The new breed is a uhh, I'll get back to you on that.....

On this Day
March 19, Saturday, is Act Happy Day, and that means Rise and shine, vote for Vincent, hustle to the grocery store and stock up on Fancy Feast and other goodies and head on down to Rikki’s for the Noon - 2 pm Donations Drop off.  Volunteer for the afternoon, scooping lots of icky poop - we don’t like it either and we need your help to make it go away!!!  And then stay for the best Full Moon Walk Ever.  Remember it doesn’t start till after dark !!!!!

March 19, Saturday, is also Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day

March 20, Sunday, is the Great American Meat Out Day, can you go without meat for a day?  Just give it a try.  For every meal there’s lots of other yummy things to eat.  Just for one day, try, please try, and leave us off your plate!!

Music and Motion

Good Times in the News

Zoo treats its pride of lions to the modern-day spa experience
Aromatherapy for lions? Massages for tapirs? It might sound like something you'd only see in a Disney cartoon but the luxury answer to animal care is happening for real in a Devon zoo.

Indu the female lion is responding well to the aromatherapy trials at Paignton Zoo, while Misha the tapir thinks having her back rubbed with almond oil is to die for. 

The trials came about after staff from a leading health shop chain learned that animals responded well to new and interesting smells.

Aromatherapy seemed to hit the nail right on the head,' commented a zoo spokesman. 'When Holland and Barratt offered us a free consignment of the oils to see if animals would respond well, we jumped at the chance.'

The zoo's senior head mammal keeper, Julian Chapman, said: 'We use a wide variety of environmental enrichments to stimulate our animals physically and mentally. Many animals, particularly big cats, respond well to smells, whether they are the scents of other animals or fragrant herbs and spices.'   

Acting senior keeper Lucy Manning explained: 'We dilute the oils and put drops around the paddock or den. Lavender may relax human beings, but it excites big cats. In fact most fragrances stimulate them - the novelty gets them going. When we put a few drops on a hessian sack filled with hay the cats will play with it, carry it about and curl up to sleep with it.

'Cats have twice as many smell-sensitive cells in their noses as people and also have an extra scent organ in the roof of their mouths.'

Smells good to me: Mwamba appears to be thoroughly enjoying his hay pillow sprinkled with peppermint

Peppermint princess: Lioness Indu has taken to her scented pillow, carrying it around and sleeping on it

Monkey keeper Andy Fry has also been trialling the aromatherapy. He said: 'We use scent-based enrichments and have had some good results. Monkeys respond to fruit scents like orange and lemon.

'However, we have never had such a wide range, so this is an excellent opportunity. It will be interesting to see what effect lavender and tea tree oil have.' 

There is also a veterinary use for the oils. Ghislaine Sayers - the zoo's head of veterinary services, said: 'You can mix almond oil with water and spray it on pigs and primates with dry skin. If a monkey has a cold, you can nebulise olbas oil with water or put it on a wet towel somewhere where the animal can smell it but not reach it."  

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park has won awards for its environmental enrichment work, which encourages natural behaviours and stimulates mental and physical activity.  

Enrichment can include wind chimes, background music, balls, bubbles and CDs hung up to catch the light.
In the wild, animals walk miles in search of food or migrating with the seasons. In zoos they cannot.
A Paignton Zoo spokesman said: 'Environmental enrichment helps to replace these activities and occupy the time of animals such as primates, elephants and big cats.'

Great Purrchases / Donations

Jan has dug up some wonderful deals!!!
Bottom Dollar from 3/16/11 thru 3/22/11
Hannaford chunk light tuna - 5 ounces in water or oil -  2 for 88 cents!!!  - WOW!!!
   we use a lot of tuna to entice sick kitties to eat
Smart Option Paper Towels (8 rolls per pack)  - 4.88 each
   I need lots of paper towels for my “special needs”, I can’t help it, it’s from my accident
Smart Option Dish Detergent - 25 ounces - 79 cents
  Yup, lots and lots of dishes to wash every day!!!

Giant from 3/18/11 thru 3/24/11   may be Martin’s too
Companion Cat food  - 5.5 ounces -   10 for $3.00 (or 30 cents a can).
   and we like this kind, so stock up

Coming for Donation Drop Off noon-2 pm on Saturday?
Here’s some things we’d love you to bring!
Garden hoses and nozzles, brooms, laundry detergent, dish detergent, trash bags, paper towels
Chinchilla food and chinchilla dust bath
Produce for the rabbits, green things and wood chip bedding for the ones indoors
Oranges for the guinea pigs
Swimming pools, Dollar General has some purrfect ones, $8 and about 4 feet in diameter
Outdoor Pooper Scoopers
These are ideal, they sell for $15 at Tractor Supply, 14 inch Jumbo Debris Pan by Harper Brush Works, item# 63497-1, we a dozen or 15. 

Too Hot For Spot
You taken a look at this exciting new product yet!!  Every purchase benefits
YOUR pets and the animals of Rikki’s Refuge.

The 24th Species
Rikki’s Refuge’s Human Habitat
Rikki’s provides a happy sanctuary for hoomans
... but please don’t leave any out by the front gate!

Upcoming Events
SATURDAYS            DONATION DROP OFF,  noon - 2 pm,  got something to drop off quick?  The gates will be unlocked.  No tour at this time, just drop off.  Donation Drop Off will be available every Saturday from noon - 2 pm in 2011

SUNDAYS            TOUR THE REFUGE - NOON, mini tour, take a walk around and see the animal neighborhoods.  Every week on Sunday you can join a mini tour where you can walk around from animal neighborhood to neighborhood, from Piggy Paradise to Horsey Haven and see the animals.   One tour only, starts at noon.  Please be prompt.

Once a month,  we’ll have an EXTENDED TOUR where you can visit the animals in their neighborhoods and have the chance to interact and give them treats.  These tours also start promptly at noon, and there’s only one tour for the day, so please be prompt.     3/27, 4/17, 5/22, 6/12, 7/4 Monday, 9/4 Monday, 10/31, 11/12 Saturday, 12/25

SATURDAYS ON OR BEFORE THE FULL MOON            FULL MOON WALK, Bon Fire, vegan bbq, pot luck 3/19, 4/16, 5/14, 6/11, 7/16, 8/13, 9/10, 10/8, 11/12, 12/10

2nd SATURDAY OF THE MONTH     SINGLES DAY - 10 am - 4 pm
Something for everybody. Come and do a day of service at the refuge and meet like minded souls. The leader who puts together the biggest work party wins.     4/9, 5/14, 6/11, 7/9, 8/13, 9/10, 10/8, 11/12, 12/10

NEXT TO LAST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH                 VOLUNTEER TRAIN BASIC 11 am- 3 pm, Learn the basics about volunteering at Rikki’s Refuge. Help with donation logging, washing dishes and liter boxes, socializing the animals and much more.   3/19, 4/23, 5/21, 6/18, 7/23, 8/20, 9/17, 10/22, 11/19, 12/24

LAST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH            VOLUNTEER TRAIN SELF SERVICE 8 am - 1 pm, Learn to earn your Self Service Volunteer Badge.   3/26, 4/30, 5/28, 6/25, 7/30, 8/27, 9/24, 10/29, 11/26, 12/31

LAST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH            SPIRITUAL GROWTH NIGHT, last Saturday of the month, come and join is in a discussion / study of what ever feels right tonight, as we reach for our highest spiritual goal, who knows where these discussions may take us.  Bring something for a Vegan Pot Luck Dinner. Call for time and study plan.
3/26, 4/30, 5/28, 6/25, 7/30, 8/27, 9/24,  10/29, 11/26, 12/31

March 19, 2011              SATURDAY     ST. PATRICK'S DAY IS FOR GREEN - Come and help make the refuge green again. Everything is so muddy after all that rain and snow this winter! Bring a bag of grass seed (the legal stuff!) and help spread it. It will grow year after year and give lots of your friends something to chew on, to roll on, to scratch on, and to p......p on !  

March 20, 2011              SUNDAY            RAISING THE ROOF AT RABBIT ROTUNDA II  8 am till 4 pm, strong individuals willing to listen, learn and take direction, need 8 people

March 20, 2011              SUNDAY          JOIN THE PEACOCKS - Celebrate the Vernal Equinox, and watch as Mr Peacock's fancy turns to…Mrs Peacock, hens, roosters, dogs, sheep, lawn mowers. Watch him fan his magnificent tail feathers and shake them at any potential mate. 

March 22, 2011              TUESDAY        HELP UNLOAD CAT AND DOG FOOD mid afternoon

Because I Love YOU

PS You tell me what you want!  Email me at with instructions to change your subscription: additions, deletions or modifications!  Subscriptions:    Vincent’s VIPs - up to the second alerts about issues at Rikki’s Refuge for those who care and want to be intimately involved.  Scheduled as needed.  Good Morning Good News - a little something to get you going in the mornings, for those of you who want to keep smiling with us!  Scheduled daily.  Hairballs - so you know what’s coming up at Rikki’s!  Scheduled weekly.

Rikki's Refuge, supported solely by private donations, houses over 1200 animals of 22 species. On line at Checks, money orders, cash, items at Rikki's Refuge, PO Box 1357, Orange VA 22960

Rikki's Refuge is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Virginia Corporation, tax-id 54-1911042. Combined Federal Campaigns #77674, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3163, PetsMart Charities #1377.  A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

Learn more and help spread the good word, tell everyone you know about Rikki’s Refuge